Our family has recently decided to become more cultured, more well-rounded, more creative. This summer, we auditioned as a family for the acclaimed musical presentation, “The Promise”. It was my daughter’s idea, and we decided it would give us something to do on a Saturday. We didn’t actually think we’d all make it.
But lo and behold, each of our names appeared on the 2010 cast list. Every Saturday in August, we made the two hour drive to Glen Rose, Texas for the 8 – 12 hour rehearsals at the Texas Amphitheatre. Outdoors. In four-hundred-twelve degree weather.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that hot. But trust me, it was hot.
It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been a load of fun. I mean, we’ve learned things about what went on in Biblical times that we never knew. We’ve witnessed miracles and seen lives changed. We’ve watched crippled people walk, blind people see, and one day at rehearsal, Lazarus was brought back from the dead. Three times. Now that’s powerful stuff.
And who would have known that Jesus wears athletic shoes, glasses, and a backwards ball cap? I didn’t, that’s for sure.
The live animals have been really cool, too. For the most part, anyway. The camel is kind of scary. And the sheep are cute, but they really do need to learn to clean up after themselves. I have to follow them onstage, and it’s not always a pleasant experience, if you know what I mean.
“The Promise” is an incredible accumulation of theatrical and musical talent, technical skill, and artistic flair. The set designs are amazing, the props and special effects are unbelievable, and the costumes are out of this world.
As a matter of fact, my costume needed some adjustment, and I watched in awe as the skilled seamstress made the necessary changes. She measured, pinned, and tucked, and soon her machine was humming a busy tune. In no time at all, the costume was perfectly hemmed and pressed.
Wearing the long tunic, overcoat, and headpiece of that day has made me curious about people of that time period. How did they do it? How in the world did women do laundry without getting soaked? How did they cook without catching their trailing headgear on fire?
And most importantly, how did those ladies survive without bright pink toenail polish?
These are questions I plan to have answered when I get to heaven.
I do know one interesting thing, though, about the way they dressed back then. Whenever a person had a valuable item, they often sewed it into the hem of their garment, so they wouldn’t lose it. I appreciate this bit of trivia even more after watching our seamstress with her whirling machine. That hem is strong and tight, and it was done with modern technology. I can just imagine the huge amount of time and back-breaking skill it must have taken for a seamstress in biblical times to slowly, stitch by tiny stitch, sew the yards of hem by hand. And if she was hiding a gold coin in that hem, I’m sure she took even more time making sure the hem was strong and secure.
God knew the time and care such a hem required. He even used that as an example of His care for us. In Psalms, He tells us that He hems us in.
In other words, we are important to Him. He highly values each one of us. And He will do whatever it takes to make sure we are safe and cared for.
I love that picture. Sometimes, when I’m feeling scared or lonely or stressed out, I close my eyes and picture myself being wrapped in His love, like that gold coin was wrapped in the fabric of the tunic. Then, I picture God painstakingly sewing me into His care, stitch by tiny stitch, assuring that I won’t be lost from His presence. And then I remember. I am special to Him. He really, really loves me. And He will always take care of me.
“You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me,” Psalm 139:5.